Robbie Rogers was in his first preseason training camp with the Galaxy when Landon Donovan organized a team-building night out. If Rogers, the first openly gay male to play in a major professional team sport in the U. Rogers, 30, announced his retirement from professional soccer Tuesday after an year professional career in England, the Netherlands and the U. He spent the last five seasons with the Galaxy, with whom he won an MLS Cup as well as praise from teammates, opponents and even the White House, where Barack Obama called him a trailblazer and an inspiration.
Landon Donovan's Other Legacy: Challenging the stigma of mental health
Robbie Rogers, Landon Donovan, Clippers support gay marriage ruling – Daily News
He has made no secret that the responsibility and the trappings that came with being the standard-bearer of American soccer for more than a decade had long ago become a burden, and that in recent years he had begun to view his talent not so much as a gift, but as an obligation. Donovan, 32, has sought counseling, struggled with depression, watched his celebrity marriage disintegrate, reconnected with his father and even taken a four-month break from soccer in — laying out his vulnerabilities for all to see. If other widely recognized athletes build fences around themselves and their thoughts, Donovan, more often than not, has laid out a welcome mat to his mind. That self-awareness, and his willingness to express it, have made him appear more human, which is not always a desired quality in star athletes. Donovan is firm in his decision to retire when the Major League Soccer season ends for the Los Angeles Galaxy — either in the Western Conference finals, the first leg of which will be played here Sunday against the Seattle Sounders, or in the M. Cup final in two weeks.
This birthday tweet from Robbie Rogers to Landon Donovan won the week
The article was originally published on January 4, Photo illustration by Gabriel de los Rios. What Donovan said that day offered a candid glimpse into a mind that had matured and changed greatly even in just the past two years, perhaps one of the most tumultuous stretches of his career. The end result of all that transpired in that time — career burnout following the MLS Cup, a curious but cathartic trip to Cambodia, his fallout with United States national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his eventual snub from the World Cup team — left him tethered to his career but not enjoying it, playing at times out of obligation, and dispassionate about his day-to-day life. The decision, he said, freed him up to enjoy the game as if he were a kid again, and allowed for him to exit on his own terms, even if some considered it more of an escape than anything else.